Welcome to my wargaming blog,
I'm Dave and live in Morpeth, Northumberland in the UK.
This may or may not be a regular thing, we'll just have to see how it goes.

I am a painter/collector of figures first and a wargamer second. My thrill in this great hobby of ours is to place that final well researched & painted unit into the cabinet. The actual gaming with the figures is an important but secondary experience, we all like to win, but it isn't the be all and end all of it, being with good friends and having fun is.
Hope you will enjoy reading this blog as much as I will writing in it.
Just to remind the visitor to scroll down the various pages and click on 'older posts' to see more.

Thursday 27 September 2012

Vendee 1794, the counter revolution continues.

An evening at the club and more Frenchmen (on both sides) bite the dust. A venture into the Vendee 1794 resulting in another entertaining encounter to find out which of the two forces was the worst a historical fact born out during the game.
The scenario was that Republican recruits had been hastily raised and thrown into the hotbed of counter revolution in the Vendee region of France  in order to crush the Catholic, Royalist supporters of the Dauphin  had occupied a defensive position near the junction of two roads along which advanced two brigades of Republican infantry under General Augereau.
The rules used were General De Brigade. All troops other than the Republican combined Grenadier battalion (veteran) and half battery of 6lb guns (line) were conscript class, while the Royalist Chouan were also conscript. The consequences of having such brittle troops on both sides would soon be seen!

A view of the field and the Republican right wing advance:

And the Royalist (musket armed) infantry lining the thick hedgerow ready to throw back the 'Infernal columns':

Two views of the right hand Republican brigade beginning it's attack, the combined Grenadier battalion can be seen in the center of the first picture. Note also the Representative of the People, there to 'motivate' the columns in their assault!:

The Chouan defensive position on this wing had very little cover (other than line of sight restriction through the cornfield), and boy would it make a difference! The troops behind are armed (like many in the army) with scythes, and pitchforks.
This picture also shows off the Grand Manor windmill very well, a lovely bit of kit which typifies a Revolutionary battlefield:

The two Republican battalions formed line and quickly advanced through the cornfield taking desultory fire from the Royalist formation to their front. They had deployed into a loose formation (Grand Band) in order to reduce the effect of the Republican fire, however the Republicans had no intention of engaging in a fire fight, they would get stuck straight in:

With a poor closing volley from the Chouan infantry (not helped by the fact that they had fired the turn before and thereby suffered a minus two on the die roll) the result with them in loose order was inevitable, a rout ensued which results in a test for units within twelve inches and a Brigade moral test at the end of the turn. The Royalist general promptly threw four, which, with various deductions resulted in the Royalist brigade retiring eighteen inches in the next compulsory phase:

Back on the right center of the Republican attack the second Brigade advanced confidently. Fighting (after suitable delays) through the thick hedgerow however disrupted both the timing of the attacks and the formation of the attackers. This resulted in the assault going in piecemeal and the defenders were ready. A couple of devastating volleys from point blank range wiped out the front ranks of the Republican conscripts (three casualties in one turn causing an immediate moral test) and as on the opposite side of the table the Republican Brigade fell back eighteen inches to lick it's wounds:

Rally to me!

After a second lousy die roll the right hand Royalist brigade dispersed leaving the reserve to try to march over to plug the gap:

This was about the end, the Chouan troops would be too stretched to cover the gaps in the line while the Republicans poured round the exposed flank and the second brigade rallying to resume the advance.
Once again a good game with a great set of rules, everyone seemed to enjoy it so job done.
If interested you can find a bit more info on this link on this blog, and on Wikipedia here.
If I can get round to it I would like to add a small unit of Royalist cavalry, I will have to keep on the lookout for suitable figures!
Hope you enjoyed the ramblings.

Sunday 9 September 2012

Paltzig 1759

This post has been on the back burner for a while as the game actually took place a month ago so my apologies to the rest of the lads that took part, however as you all know life gets in the way!
Six of us traveled up to Micks in order to take part in the Seven Years war battle of Paltzig 1759. Rules used were Mick and Mikes, Gaming room Mick's.

Unashamedly copied from Wikipedia:

At the end of April 1759, a large Russian army (about 70,000 men) started its advance on Brandenburg. Dohna, the commander of the small Prussian army (18,000) in this area, was very slow to react.
At the beginning of June, the Russian army, now under general Piotr Semionovitch Saltykov, had managed to concentrate at Posen (actual Poznań) without any interference from Dohna. Saltykov then proceeded to the invasion of Brandenburg, starting his advance on Crossen (actual Krosno).
By July 17, the Russians had reached the area of Züllichau (actual Sulechów) a few km from the Oder river. Dohna failed to interpose his small army between the Russians and the bridge at Crossen. Frederick II quite upset by Dohna's inefficiency despatched lieutenant-general Kurt Heinrich von Wedel to replace Dohna.
Wedel reached his army in the evening of Saturday July 22.

Initial Manoeuvres

On July 23 at daybreak, Wedel set out to reconnoitre the ground and to see with his own eyes the army that he was supposed to stop. The heavily wooded area prevented him from seeing very much, but he saw glimpses of stationary troops that he mistook for the Russian left wing while they were in fact the rearguard. This led him to think that the whole Russian army was still idle and that therefore he still had time to outmanoeuvre it. Indeed, the Russians were already on the move to march towards Crossen by Heinersdorf (unidentified location), Nickern (actual Niekarzyn) and Paltzig (actual Palck) to eventually make a junction with an Austrian corps led by Hadik and Loudon.
At 10:00 AM, Wedel returned to the Prussian camp at Züllichau reassured about the intention of the Russians.
However, at 11:00 AM, the heads of the Russian columns began to emerge from the woods in full view of the astonished Prussian left wing in front of the village of Paltzig about 9 km from Züllichau. Wedel was immediately informed but did not believe the report and went personally to observe the Russian troops.
Wedel could not ignore that the king had dismissed Dohna for being too cautious, he was under pressure and he took a step that under different circumstances he probably would never have taken, he decided to attack the Russian army while it was on the march. Some Prussian generals were not sharing his confidence. General Wobersnow pointed out that the enemy was probably 40-50,000 strong with plenty of artillery pieces while their own army could not muster more than 27,000 and “I know not if we can bring a single cannon to where Saltykov is.” (Tempelhof iii 132-134).
Nevertheless, Wedel ordered his troops to march in 2 columns by the left: the first towards Kay (actual Kije) and the second towards Mohsau (actual Mozow).

 The ground separating the two armies was hiding quite a number of unpleasant surprises, first there was a little stream running from Kay to the Oder. The banks of this stream were marshy and it could not be forded. Men could only pass it by using a narrow road leading to a small bridge in the proximity of the mill of Kay. There was also a second brook, a branch of the first one and this time there was no bridge across it.

If you wish to read an account of the actual battle then look Here

Pictures say a thousand words so here we go.

A view of the initial deployments, the Russian centre and left (to the top of the picture) with the village of Paltzig top left and Glogsen centre right. The Prussians have deployed artillery in front of Glogsen and their massed infantry is about to set up behind the Hussars visible bottom right the area to the top of the picture was ignored by the Prussian commanders who concentrated all their forces to their left:

The Russian left wing:

The Russian centre as visible to the Prussians:

The Russian right, anything behind hills or other troops was left off the table (a hint of things to come):

The Prussian Hussars bravely sacrificed themselves covering the following infantry and took out many of the Russian guns which on the day of the actual battle did much of the damage to the Prussians:

The Prussian left wing heavy cavalry, using the ridge to screen it's advance surprises and routs the Russians to their front:

Reverse view from the Russian side:

 They then deploy awaiting infantry and artillery support to threaten the Russian right flank:

They faced these Russians on the ridge and to the flank:

Meanwhile the lines of Prussian infantry continue to advance towards the Russian held ridge:

The Russian view:

Russian Hussars start to move off to attack the right of the advancing Prussian infantry, not many of them but they proved to be pesky buggers. The Prussian commanders wondered at the time why the majority of this Russian flank didn't move, they would soon find out:

The Prussian infantry attack went in and smashed the first Russian line and a second became visible behind the ridge:

With a third forming up and a fourth re-deploying from their left wing:

Three Russian lines were broken before the Prussian infantry finally ran out of steam!

Back on the Prussian left the cavalry division pressed forward taking on and defeating fresh Russian reserve cavalry arriving to save the day, this end of the ridge (center right of the picture) has been taken by the Prussian infantry:

Though successful on the left and having taken the ridge to their front the Prussian attack had simply run out of steam. The Russians had lost a huge number of troops but of course could afford to do so.
The road to Berlin was still blocked so the Russian commanders had achieved their objectives but it must be said that the Prussians could not have done more with the troops available. A closer run thing than on the day of the actual battle.
As usual the game was great as was the company, thanks to you all gents.